Quebec labour tribunal sides with employer in cat-bereavement spat

A Quebec labour tribunal has sided with an employer who refused a woman’s request to work from home on the day her cat died.

Chantal Dumais filed a complaint alleging she was forced to leave her job in 2015 due to various incidents of alleged psychological harassment.

She says in an interview one example was when she wasn’t paid after staying home from the office one day after the sudden death of her cat, Juliette.

Dumais told her employer she was too upset to come to work after finding her beloved pet dead, but she says she still made calls from home. 

Court documents state the Montreal-area resident left the job a short time later, soon after learning she had not been paid for the day in question.

But the tribunal ruled that nothing in Quebec’s labour law permits a salaried employee to miss work following the death of a pet.

Tribunal Judge Sylvain Allard also concluded that Dumais quit of her own accord and that her employer’s actions did not constitute psychological harassment. 

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